ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Lady Bernadette Azodoh 79 years old , born on April 16, 1939 and passed away on January 26, 2019. We will remember her forever.
Posted by Helen-Linda Azodoh on April 16, 2020
Mummy, it's been 14 months! 14 months mummy that you have been silent. I still shudder when I think of the fact that you truly succumbed to death, you Bernadette Ucheju Azodoh succumbed to death!

Mummy, I miss you. The void is real. I went to Nkwerre at Christmas and you were not there. Your absence was glaring. The house was not clean and ready as always. Your touch was missing. My tears are yet to dry. Mummy do you see my tears? Do you know how much I hurt? At times I imagine you telling me off for crying so much.

You would have been 81 today. I would have called you today. I would have been able to visit your grave today, but that wasn't to be. Mummym, rest well o. No more pain. I miss you.
Posted by Evaristus Azodoh on January 26, 2020
Mum, it’s a year now I have not heard your voice,
For a whole year, you have not asked after my health, my work etc

Your portrait in my office and around my home smiles back at me. A constant reminder of the amazing woman you are.

I love and miss you so much Mummy. The VOID is real. I have tried not to cry today but I can’t help myself. Rest In Peace Mum

Ulobeke
Posted by Nnamdi Onuekwusi on February 22, 2019
Eva and Ngozi
Ndonu on the call of your mum and mum inlaw to eternal rest. Be consoled by the love and care you lavished on her and great Christian life she lived. May God grant your family the fortitude to bear what reason cannot explain.
Ndi and Nkeiru
Posted by Chinaka Patrick Obidike on February 12, 2019
I received the news of Daa Brena Azodo’s death with great shock and sadness. Since been introduced to the family in Aba in the early 80s and becoming part of the family in Ogoja, your home was where we had proper meals and an opportunity to vent and complain to our affable father, Dee Adi. Daada , you went out of your way to accommodate our variable needs without fuss.
You fought a good fight and may the angels happily open the gates of heaven. Continue to sleep with the Lord. Adieu Daada
Posted by Adeline Idoko on February 11, 2019
My deepest condolences to you pastor and the entire Azodos family. May her gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Goodnite grandma.
Posted by Tosin Omoniyi on February 11, 2019
Rest in peace mama. You left a worthy son behind, daily inspiring hundreds. Adieu.
Posted by Mamudu Dako on February 10, 2019
Mama rest in perfect peace as your back you left behind will be well taken care of by the good products you left behind.
Posted by Okafor Kingsley on February 10, 2019
Mummy you have been a Pillar to all. You have done your bit.
You legacies lives on.
Ijeoma!!

Dr Kingsley Chinedu Okafor
Posted by Dauda Iliya on February 10, 2019
My heartfelt condolences go to the entire Azodoh family especially my FGCWarri seniors; Dr Col Eva & Stan. May the Lord Almighty grant the family the fortitude to bear Mama's departure to glory. God bless you all.
Posted by Obumneke Genevieve on February 10, 2019
My Beloved Mummy ..!!!! Hearing of your death today really weighed me down.!!!!!.several times you made delicious meal for me..!!!!!.you took me like your child.!!!!..I was really supposed to be your daughter in law but God knows better.!!!..hearing you died on 26th January;; my own very birthday crippled me down.!!!!.my father was ever grateful to your husband ,for being his teacher and always quoted him making a sentence In class that 'Martin Kalu is a clever boy..."
Am so proud of you mum.!!!!good night and rest well in God's bosom..
I hope kelechi will be able to bear this ?..he was really your pet boy..!!!.KC boy !!!May God comfort You and the rest of the family
From Dr Genny Obumneke kalu
For NIDA and entire Martin Kalu 's family
Posted by Shina Gasweez on February 10, 2019
Dear Evaristus, please accept my deep condolences on the passing-on to eternity of your late mum. I can now realise your indomitableness, commitment and loyalty to the NA institution as a reverred senior Officer before you disengaged from service. May the soul of mama, Lady Bernadette Azodoh, rest in peace. Amen.
Posted by Mulero Alamo Obadiah on February 9, 2019
This must be God for a well life spent by Mama and the life of her children,trained with the fear of God. It must be God for these nine seeds well preserved even to pass through war and turbulence of life. I wish all of you a glorious celebration of Mama's exit and I believe she has gone to meet her best LOVER-JESUS. Pst Eva Azodoh,I wish you and your wonderful siblings the grace to bear the lost. May her soul rest in perfect peace till the resurrection morning. Pst Obadiah &Comfort Mulero.
Posted by Mamudu Dako on February 9, 2019
Zodos you are a carbon copy of your mum.
May he soul rest in perfect peace. Ameen.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Helen-Linda Azodoh on April 16, 2020
Mummy, it's been 14 months! 14 months mummy that you have been silent. I still shudder when I think of the fact that you truly succumbed to death, you Bernadette Ucheju Azodoh succumbed to death!

Mummy, I miss you. The void is real. I went to Nkwerre at Christmas and you were not there. Your absence was glaring. The house was not clean and ready as always. Your touch was missing. My tears are yet to dry. Mummy do you see my tears? Do you know how much I hurt? At times I imagine you telling me off for crying so much.

You would have been 81 today. I would have called you today. I would have been able to visit your grave today, but that wasn't to be. Mummym, rest well o. No more pain. I miss you.
Posted by Evaristus Azodoh on January 26, 2020
Mum, it’s a year now I have not heard your voice,
For a whole year, you have not asked after my health, my work etc

Your portrait in my office and around my home smiles back at me. A constant reminder of the amazing woman you are.

I love and miss you so much Mummy. The VOID is real. I have tried not to cry today but I can’t help myself. Rest In Peace Mum

Ulobeke
Posted by Nnamdi Onuekwusi on February 22, 2019
Eva and Ngozi
Ndonu on the call of your mum and mum inlaw to eternal rest. Be consoled by the love and care you lavished on her and great Christian life she lived. May God grant your family the fortitude to bear what reason cannot explain.
Ndi and Nkeiru
her Life

​It Started Long Ago

By -  Sir Christopher Azodoh(Husband)

It started long ago, an innocuous past that gave no hints or presages of the far-off present. That was between her fathers and my fathers, her grandmother and my grandfather closing in consanguineal lineage. A mishmash of relationship encircled the relational environment; uncle Onuoha and Nwangbede, Samuel and my sister Mary. The sad premature death of my sister which rendered me inconsolate seemed to forge a close relationship between me and Gilbert Ekeogu. Perhaps I was looking for one to fill the emotional void created by her premature death. The friendship tightened to the likeness of that of David and Jonathan as we grew and relished the intellectual avidity of each other in St. Thomas Catholic School Nkwerre.

At the end of my one-year stint as a pioneer student of the newly founded Preliminary Teacher’s Center (P.T.C.) at Amaigbo, while few were sent to the only existing teachers college in the diocese, St. Charles collegeOnitsha, I was posted like the rest of the class to teach in a primary school. Mine was St. Thomas Catholic School, in my home a few yards from my residence.

I was assigned to teach the second arm of standard one. Among my pupils was a quiet but brilliant little girl, who I later learned was the youngest child of Gill’s mother, but because she had been living with one of her elder sisters I had not heard of her or met her. As the young sister of my friend I was affectionate to her. However, just after three months because of her high intelligence she gained a double promotion to standard two. The contact was brief but the impression left by her brilliance was lasting, sustained by her continued leadership level, one class after another.

By the end of the year I gained admission into Elementary Teachers’ College opened the year before. At the end of the Elementary Course, few of us were selected to initiate the Teachers’ Grade II Course for the new Diocese of Owerri. At the end of the course, my principal found it fitting to appoint my classmate Tobias Ohajunwa and myself, teachers in our Alma Mater, even before our certificates results were known. We had to demonstrate unequivocally and with credentials, that we were above capable and qualified to teach the classes we just left. Before our third year, both of us had gained our Matriculation which qualified us to be admitted into the University for higher studies. It was during this period of total commitment to acquire a qualification for further education through the G.C.E, that on visiting home, one day my mother came to me where I was lying in bed and said to me almost by a whisper and desperation, “that little daughter of my friend Omasiridieis being sought after for marriage.” I seemed uninterested and kept quiet. Incidentally I saw Gill Ekeogu that very day.  Apropos of nothing, he started complaining to me that Bernadette had gone to Eziamato send back the keg of wine with which they came to ask for her hands in marriage. He complained that in spite of his disapproval, she decided to go. When I met Bernadette in the course of the day, I asked her why she accepted the offer of marriage. She told me the man said he would wed her in the church. I told her that was an insufficient reason for a marriage proposal. She had not seen the person before. I wished I could save her for myself. Without further thought I just blotted it out. “There is no reason rushing into marriage now. If you can wait, I will have no better choice in my life for a wife”. She looked at me wistfully and with a grateful sigh said, “I will wait for as long as you wish.” That was the first time it ever crossed my mind that she could be my wife. This contract was just between both of us, with neither parent being aware of it.

After the collapse of Eziama attempt and my hint of interest a barrage of suitors followed from far and near. Mainly to stave off the unwanted attentions and escape the pressure she travelled to Benin, stayed with her sister and took a course in secretarial studies.

Finding further stay at Benin uncongenial to her interests she returned home and got herself engaged at a local facility for dress making. By this time the mom and sister were baffled at her turning down all eligible suitors, and it was no longer a secret she was waiting for Adi. To avoid further attention she went to stay with her brother at Ekwe, and help his new wife and baby. The heat was turned on me from her mother’s side, asking me to declare my intentions for Bernadette to save them the embarrassment of having no answer to eligible suitors. I was in the throes of the GCE ‘A’ level preparations and could brook no distraction. So I wrote two letters one to Berna and another to her brother Gilbert sincerely and out of pure love withdrawing any hold I had on her, and asking her to take a suitor that was acceptable to her. I would not hold it against her and would always love her as a sister. She had waited long enough. Unfortunately I was still not ready for marriage, materially and emotionally. She was devastated and drained of all strength, she wrote. She told me she said she would wait no matter how long the time and she still held to her earlier promise, against all odds. Gill also wrote decrying the terms of my letter and accusing me of looking for an excuse to break my solemn understanding. He concluded by wishing I had not written to Bernadette. To give her peace of mind and to requite her love, loyalty and courage, I was constrained to formalize our intention.

With my correspondence course at an end and acquisition of 4 “A” level and 4 “O” level subjects in the G.C.E., I was more than qualified for acceptance into a University. So I could afford to turn my full attention to my marriage promise. I dispatched Berna to Uyo for a year’s course in home management. So it was on December 28, 1956 I wedded my only sweetheart ever, at St. Thomas Catholic Mission.

I returned to Umuahia with my winsome bride, and rode the crest of admiration from colleagues, staff and students. Less than six months after my wedding I was afforded a direct entry admission to the University College, Ibadan. I was ready to leave Holy Ghost College, my nurturing home, a place I entered in 1949, a feckless larva, as a full-blown chrysalis after nine years with a wife expectant on tow. With arrangements completed on how best to settle my wife and after bucket of tears on both sides, I left for the U.C.I. in September 1957. The baby arrived exactly a month after, on October 1957.

Ironically the rustication of students of U.C.I. following a campus riot, was a blessing to me in disguise. I was able to share with my wife the experience of first parenting and the companionship she desperately needed. The rustication was not long enough for us but I had to get back in search of the ‘golden fleece’. In June, for my first vacation, I picked up a vacation job at my Alma Mater and proudly took my family along. It was a delight for my colleagues to behold my baby son, a perfect picture of the son I asked from God. Evaristus was the toast of all and sundry, wherever we took him. He was a special gift fulfilling a covenant. I bowed humbly in acknowledgment of my own unworthiness.

I traveled back to the University for the 1958-59 session. A few months later, Berna informed me of her second pregnancy, the usual long vacation conception. I had sustained a fissure injury and eventually I had a fissure surgery, but surprisingly it was unsuccessful. After a few months, I went in for a second surgery. It was during this period that I received a telegram from Berna announcing the birth of my second son Olu. I had lost so much time to illness during this session, that doing my final BA honors degree in June was impossible. So the degree examination was shelved for a year. My colleagues and friends often visited me at the hospital – U.C.H., and to sympathize for my losing a year.

This telegram came in during one of these visits. I showed it to my visitors. One of them, Olu Adeniji read it aloud and said to me “The child’s name will be 'Oluremilekun'.” Meaning –GOD HAS SAID TO ME,’ DON’T WEEP’.” Or God has comforted me. So the name stuck. Despite all other names by which he is known, Olu had instant popularity till date. Olu was a quiet happy child with distinctive beautifully etched profile, and ruddy with health.

At the end of my university studies in July 1961, I traveled to Lagos. I reported to the Ministry of Establishment which posted me to Jos as a temporary Executive Officer pending the publishing of our University degree results. By September the result came out and I was permanently posted to Kings College Lagos as Educational officer. Letters and visitations continued flowing from the Professor of Education U.C.I., urging me to fill my position at the institute for the academic diploma preceding my doctorate course in education in the U.S.A. Much as I loved and was desirous of postgraduate studies, I felt incapable of getting separated from my family for another year. I declined the scholarship and place. My principal, P.H. Davis, did his best to block all avenues that could take me out of Kings College even my getting commissioned as an Army Education Officer. As a counter attraction, he spearheaded my Commonwealth fellowship to U.K. for teaching of English as a foreign language. Actually it led no where in the academic wrung of the ladder. Apart from the opportunity of a physical contact with the language which I specialized in for the last four years, it gave me an immediate opportunity of redeeming the promise I made to my wife at our wedding that I would take her to England. Up to this time I had kept in the bank the money I got at my wedding, and reserved for this purpose. It was this money I used to pay for her fare to England.

By April 1962 in the fullness of time, a third child, and daughter was born while we lived at King’s College. She was named Rosemary, after my Blessed Mother to whom I dedicated my marriage, after my sister, Mary, whom I loved with undying love. She was as happy as a lark, dimpled like a cherub or a Nereid. She was such a delight. I encouraged her smile and she has lived smiling unabashed by the world. At three months she was shipped with her mother to Newcastle from where they met me at Port Madoc, N. Wales where I was on teaching practice.

Meanwhile Eva was left with Mr. and Mrs. Mark and Flora Ilonah who cared for him more than they would their own child. Olu was left with my senior brother at Port Harcourt, but the separation was traumatic for him, and eventually had to join my mother at Nkwerre. Berna was secured a place by the British council for a course in home management. Rosemary, the baby was found a nanny in Kent where she blossomed into a really heavy baby, as she was spoiled by her nanny.

Unexpectedly the fourth baby was on her way. Berna in her pregnancy graduated from the home management course, and I had come to the end of the Common Wealth fellowship course in teaching of English. The baby arrived on the 28th of August at the Hammersmith Hospital in the Royal Borough of Kensington. Though born of undiluted African parents, at birth her features were English. Partly because her features were English and in celebration of this fact, she was named Helen, the Patroness Saint of England, and because she was conceived in Wales, I added a typical Welsh name which was also the name of our landlady’s daughter, Linda. Scarcely two weeks after the arrival of Helen, I wasjetting back to Nigeria with my wife and two babies. Rosemary was just a year and two months older than Helen- Linda was.

I got back to King’s College but I was faced with crisis of accommodation. My bungalow in K C was occupied by another teacher. Though I was still satisfied with my job and put in my best to demonstrate my new acquired skills, I was no longer at ease. So when there was an advert for position at the planned Nigeria Defence Academy at Kaduna, I jumped at it. So it was that by March 1964, I left for Kaduna as one of the pioneer civilian staff of the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna.

In all the disruptions that my movements entailed since my return to Nigeria, my young family was completely involved. Like a tortoise I moved with my house on my back. Kaduna proved to be a desideratum. The academic program was congenial. Eva was able to start his primary education. We made good friends among the military men who held us in high esteem. In June 1965 ‘Quintus’ the fifth child arrived. He was a 12 pounder, and looked mature from birth. During the first month Berna had breast abscess, and so Leo had to be forcefully weaned from the breast. Milk was insufficient for his ravenous appetite. He had to be fed early with solid food which he ate happily with no side effects. I named him Leo, after Pope Leo, the Great, and Kennedy after J.F. Kennedy, whom I worshiped as a charismatic great leader, Kaduna for the place in which he was born, Chinedu, by his Mom.

We were in this life of euphoria when the cracks of gun fire we heard at the early hours of the morning, which we accepted as military exercise, turned out to be what was hitherto uttered in hushed whispers a coup d'etat. It was a period of unrest. People especially Easterners feared for their life and Security. So we left Kaduna and for the next three years the country was engulfed in civil war.

Returning back to Kaduna was impossible even if conceivable. While trying to find a job, the foremost need was accommodations. I put in top gear my earlier resolution to put up a fairly convenient accommodation for my family. Later I got a posting to Queen’s School Enugu where I drove to from Nkwerre. Eventually the Ministry of Education Enugu, posted me on a permanent basis to A.T.T.C. Owerri. Our sixth child was on the way when we left Kaduna. Now it arrived at St. Mary’s Hospital Amaigbo. That was the first time I was nearest to my wife during her labor pains. I did not think I was in love with the spectacle! My father called her Uloma, for by this time, we had completed the emergency house and because it was glorious to be home after our long sojourn away from home. And she was a baby to be proud of, chubby and dimpled. It delighted my father, for he claimed she was his sister returned. I named her Immaculata, after the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, the 8th of December, when she was born.

I relocated to ATTC Owerri with my family, which was then a handful. We were all at Owerri when the State of the Republic of Biafra was declared and Nigeria declared war on the “infant nation”. Studies were suspended. All efforts were turned towards civil preparations for war, win the war exercises and manoeuvres.

Bombing and strafing started. We were missed oftentimes by inches, by bombs and bullets. Killings by the air force became daily news. My brother Thomas and Dr. Onyejiaka were killed at Aba. My baby daughter and I were saved only by God’s grace at our residence. Owerri was no longer safe for the family. I took my wife and children back to Nkwerre, and on invitation from Colonel Simon Uwakwe, the commander of S.T.F. (Special Task Force) at Arocukwu, I was taken to Arochukwu to join him. Food supplies and rations were made available, and I had the opportunity to ensure my family was not starving.

In the midst of the war, our next child arrived. You could not believe a war child to be so healthy and lovely. Because of signs that followed his birth, my parents and Thomas’s younger brother Thaddeus, believed it was Thomas come back to life. My wife did her best to look after her ever increasing brood, keeping them safe from the terrible war disease-Kwashiokor, and clothing them decently with anything she could lay hands on. The baby was named Victor as we expected victory from the war. So did my friends Col. Uwakwe, and Matthias Anohu call their sons born during the war.

I left for Enugu where we were asked to come for posting. One of my old students from the NDA, Aliyu Mohammed provided me accommodation and I was able to bring with me the school aged children. I was away one day, on the rehabilitation of schools when somebody came from home to tell me of the death of my father.  At the end of obsequies for my father my wife left with us to Enugu. I worked in various departments of Education and lastly in Research and Information, before I was posted back to ATTC Owerri.

While most of the teachers paired up, I got a bungalow to myself. So I was able to move my whole family to the college. The children were in school and Eva got admission to Holy Ghost College Owerri. Olu, Rosy and Helen were in primary School. By the last quarter of 1970, all the Federal Officers who fled their positions before and during the Civil War were required to return to Lagos for redeployment. So I was on the move again, deployed to Federal Government College Warri, in the then Mid-West State.

We arrived in November, with my wife heavy with child, and for the first time looking ill in pregnancy. The doctor had diagnosed a multiple pregnancy but was not sure whether they were two or more. Conditions were certainly abnormal. I lost my car at the war front at Arochukwu. There were not enough taxis in the city. But the few teachers, about two, who had cars, were supportive of the other teachers in emergency. So on the 15th February 1971, at about 1a.m Mr. Akinbola was wakened from sleep to run my wife to the hospital and to go get the doctor. Before the doctor arrived, the first baby was delivered. He then helped deliver the secondone. Between them they weighed 22 lbs. It was a wonderful work, and the mercy of God. The pregnancy did indeed frighten both of us. Nobody ever believed they were twins, each of them was heavier than a single baby. They were a sight to behold.

I called the first one Bernard after my wife Bernadette and Kelechi (thanks to God), and the second one Christopher after me and Chinenye (God Gives). At Warri, we were tried to the limit in childcare.

It started with whooping cough, by the elderly children and despite our fears and extreme precaution the babies caught it. While the infection subsided within a few months in the other children, the babies infection seemed to last forever. Every bit of penny we earned was spent on drugs, so much that the pharmacist expressed pity and surprise that the attack was so unrelenting. The next attack was Chicken Pox, and Measles. It seemed they were waiting for any infectious disease going, to catch it. We put our trust in God and never doubted his mercy and deliverance. The final episode of trial was Victor being knocked flat down on the concrete asphalt paved road, by a motor cyclist in front of our house.

We nursed these 9 children and have seen them all mature into responsible adults and through them have been blessed with 21 grandchildren and the priceless gift of a great grand-daughter, who my wife had the opportunity to see and hold.

While we mourn, we cannot help but appreciate the Lords abundant blessings and grace on her;

1. She didn’t die during the birth of nine children who are all alive and well.

2. She raised all her nine children to become well educated, well rounded responsible adults

3. She lived to see her children’s children, with the bonus of a great grandchild

4. She was blessed with amazing daughters in-law and sons in-law, who she embraced as her children.

5. She enjoyed marital bliss for over 62 years.

6. Her children took very good care of her. She spent time with them at various times in London, Abuja, Lagos, Owerri, Nkwerre and Hanford, California.

7. Her children celebrated her in life; numerous birthday celebrations, 50th wedding anniversary celebration in Nkwerre with a Cruise gift to the Caribbean and celebration of their 60th wedding anniversary on board the Royal Caribbean Cruise.

8. Her children did everything within their ability to prolong her life and succeeded. She survived a few medical emergencies.

9. Her children relocated her to the United States when she became poorly, to give her the benefit of better healthcare and improved quality of life relative to Owerri where she also suffered the unfortunate and traumatic incidence of being burgled in 2018.

10. Her children rallied round her during her medical emergencies and were by her side through it all.

Whilst we are heartbroken, we will not mourn as people without hope. Farewell our dearest Wife, Mother, Grandmother and Great Grand-Mother, till we reunite in Heaven. We will miss you tremendously.

Recent stories

What a Fulfilled Life!

Shared by Samuel Kwabe on February 9, 2019

Evaristus and Stan, I share with you in the pains of the transition of Mum. But we are being comforted by a life of fulfilment she lived and pray that God's abundant Grace will be sufficient for you all in the family.

Rest in peace, Mama!

Shared by John Uzomba on February 9, 2019

Oh my God! We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of your dearly beloved mom. Please accept our heart felt sympathy for your loss. May God Almighty grant her soul perfect rest in His Heavenly Kingdom, and grant you, your father, and all the members of Azodoh family the fortitude to bear this great loss. IJMN . Adieu Mama. John Uzomba & family